Why do we need them?
Why do I need them?
Transition signals make it easy for the reader
to follow your ideas.
They are like a road map for the reader,
telling them how your ideas are related.
Transition signals help the reader to know
when you are giving a similar idea, an
opposite idea, an example, a conclusion, etc.
Read this paragraph:
When Marcita takes an exam, she follows a
certain procedure. She tries to find a seat in the
room away from others. She might sit at the
back of the room or sit in the front row. She gets
her supplies ready: pencils, pens, and paper.
Sometimes she brings things like a calculator or
textbook if the instructor permits them. She sits
quietly for a moment before the test begins. She
does this to relax and clear her mind.
Now compare it to this one:
When Marcita takes an exam, she follows a certain
procedure. First of all, she tries to find a seat in the
room away from others. She might sit at the back of
the room, for example, or sit in the front row. Then,
she gets her supplies ready, such as pencils, pens,
and paper. Sometimes she brings things like a
calculator or textbook if the instructor permits them.
Finally, she sits quietly for a moment before the test
begins because it relaxes her and clears her mind.
Types of Transition Signals
– also called “sentence connectors”
– although, because, when, since, if, etc.
– Prepositions, Adjectives, Verbs
Different signals for different purposes
- Usually at the beginning of a sentence.
- Can also be at the end or in the middle.
- Always separated from the rest of the
sentence by commas.
- Used with a semi-colon and comma to join two
Transitions: Punctuation Examples
However, sleeping too much can be detrimental
to your health.
Sleeping too much, however, can be
detrimental to your health.
Sleeping too much can be detrimental to your
It’s important to get enough sleep; however, sleeping
too much can be detrimental to your health.
Always used with a comma when
they join two independent clauses.
I want to study art, but my parents want me to
become an engineer.
The company’s sales increased last year, so
everyone got a raise.
Introduce a dependent clause
The dependent clause can be before
the independent clause use a
comma after it.
The dependent clause can be after the
independent clause do NOT use a
Subordinators: Punctuation Examples
Although I love my mother-in-law, I don’t
want to live with her.
I like living in Seattle because I enjoy the
Because I ride the bus to school, I am
sometimes late for class.
Choose a transition to complete the
Lie detector tests are often used by police to
help determine guilt or innocence. _______,
these tests often are not very accurate, so
they can not be used in court.
Direct exposure to sunlight is dangerous
because the ultra-violet rays can lead to skin
cancer. __________, tanning booths,
because they also transmit ultra-violet
light, are just as dangerous as sunlight.
In the event of a heart attack, it is important
to first identify the symptoms. _______, call
911 or drive to the nearest emergency room.
Which transition signals will you
use to write your observation